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May 18, 2004



As much as I think trading items and accounts for money is evil, this is a bad move by Turbine. They should have expected it to go to playerauctions or even farther underground. At lesat ebay will work with you if say, you find that someone in Kazakhstan has gone and bought 800 accounts, and you want to compare notes.

Unless they've got some uber plan to start banning large portions of their user base, don't expect any enforcement here. If you're not willing to put the kibosh on trading stuff for real money at launch, you'll never get rid of it.


I think it is a PR stunt to have on public record that they try to enforce their IP. Trademarks have to be protected, so this is a small step for Turbine, but a big step toward demonstrating that they are officially against trading of company property.



All they have to do is ban people from playing their game when they catch them right?

So the market can work this out. If, because of this ruling people stop subscribing to their service or people are banned to much, or because enforcing it is to costly then they'll loose money and eventually the game will die. If not, then it'll thrive.

No worries.



Well, since they've recently taken over the customer service and distribution from Microsoft, One might expect that they next try to bring the real money auctions to their own site - thus taking the small percentage fee for the transaction and being able to guarantee the delivery of the virtual account or item.

Like SOE stating that they're willing to sell some items to players in the future, it's another revenue stream to explore.


>>"Like SOE stating that they're willing to sell some items to players in the future, it's another revenue stream to explore."

That's the only way I can see this making any sense in my mind. Their playerbase isn't all that large already and quashing one of the large "mini-games" of AC (1 or 2) doesn't make good business sense unless your going to replace it with something else.

I'm reasonably sure AC2 numbers are so low as to be bordering on non-existant and AC1 numbers aren't a huge amount better.

The fact that multiple markets exist for items and they "took a stance" on the only one that will listen to them makes me believe they just made yet another poor business judgement.

Cya later AC :P


A minor note: Microsoft never "owned" AC in any meaningful sense. They provided some development funding, they published, they did the community management, but the live team always operated out of Turbine, and I'm pretty sure Turbine retained ownership of IP. Microsoft lost interest in supporting AC when AC II was released, and what Turbine did was buy back the community management operation, meaning they now provide support and keep the whole of the subscriber's dollar.


Also note that they banned selling/buying only player accounts and housing - not all items. Which means you can still buy eBayed in-game items to then trade for a house.

I think mainly they are trying to let those folks who have been desperate for a home for a long time to get them out of the hands of the powerplayers who camp houses and sell them at an out-of-game premium. I've been out of the AC loop lately, but for the many years that I played, problems with getting housing and with recalled characters were two major PR nightmares.

I also suspect that they are trying to head these problems off before they release their AC expansion pack, thus encouraging new players (as level 1s, not level 126s) and reinvigorating the game as a whole...


> Like SOE stating that they're willing to
> sell some items to players in the future,
> it's another revenue stream to explore.

SOE has never stated this, in fact the opposite.

SCEA (which isn't SOE, but Sony's Playstation arm) has expressed an interest in monetizing various things.

Dundee's blog has a cogent writeup of the differences involved: http://mythical.blogspot.com/

ObStatement: Virtual arbitrage delenda est.


Um, Costik? Turbine sold the Asheron's Call IP to Microsoft when they started the publishing agreement. The report back in December was that they'd bought it back. Ken Karl, the executive producer on the MS side, was often blamed for stonewalling things Turbine wanted to do. (He's gone now.) Every time I heard a Turbine person talk about MS, it was like they were describing the millstone about their neck.


OK, apparently it wasn't an outright IP sale, but for all intents and purposes, MS controlled the AC franchise until just recently. I'm not nitpicking for its own sake, here.


Interesting development, and in the wrong direction. There is some question as to who really "owns" the virtual items that are being sold. I believe, that it will be the owner of the account that is running the character and not the company who provides the platform.

On another level, to ban this practice is the wrong answer. The real problem is a flawed economic system that allows characters to accumulate wealth at an exponential rate with no way to "sink" virtual money into any other area.

In other words, intial Virtual World design issues and not thinking through the rammifications of the design implementation.


WoW just announced it's inhouse auction system, player to player, using the game's email system and in-game delivery system. Seems the developer's here are going to stop the e-Bay, IGE, PlayerToPlayer auctions BEFORE they go live.



Here's a direct link to the digital add-ons online thing.

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